I walk into the woods and pastures to touch middle summer, finding August’s white snakeroot with huge buds, wood nettle with its petals, wingstem ready to open, parsnips half to seed, but still flowering enough to make part of the field yellow, while the other part is white with daisy fleabane. Wild onions are blooming. Virginia roses still bright pink. Prickly buckeye fruits, an inch in diameter, are hanging from the trees.
In the back yard, blue jays are restless, protecting their young and stealing the last of the cherries. There is constant robin peeping throughout the day, the language that guides the fledglings, no longer the raucous mating songs of spring and early summer.
Now the violet mallow and great mullein are in full bloom, grapes a half an inch in diameter, rose of Sharon getting ready, Blue darners have been at the pond for the past few days, and now a pale almost transparent damselfly hovers near the lizard’s tail. Every once in a while, our green frog croaks, exults with a complex, descending call.
The first purple coneflower opened in the sun today, and the first of the new golden Heliopsis. Now the first yarrow has turned almost completely gold. Osage fruit is almost tennis-ball size.
Japanese beetles have arrived in the ferns on schedule. Woodpeckers seem to be talking back and forth with their hammering, bursts of two to three taps at a tune. Catalpa flowers are falling. I scratch my ankle, the first chigger bite of the year. Before supper, Chris brings over a pint of fresh wild black raspberries.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of middle summer. In the meantime, be outside touching July.